My First 24 Hours on Hogwarts Legacy

March 12, 2023

For decades, we dreamed about this, and now it has become a reality -- Hogwarts Legacy, an open-world game based on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, was launched in February of this year, and it's everything I hoped for for the first ever open world game of this fictional universe. ✨ 

As a child who has grown up reading the Harry Potter books and watching the films, I have daydreamed more than a hundred times of being a student myself at Hogwarts. I imagined receiving my letter by owl post, being sorted to a house, and participating in classes by learning potions and spells. And now, finally (after a few years of delay from the original launch date), Hogwarts Legacy is finally here to play! Is it worth all the hype? Well, it's a solid YES for me. ✨✨✨

To say that I am hooked on this game is an understatement. ๐Ÿซฅ I'm not proud of this, but I'm borderline being a games addict at this point. ๐Ÿฅฒ I would spend hours and hours in front of my computer just playing away. And I suffered some unfortunate consequences, physically and mentally (don't worry, as of this writing, I am already recovering ๐Ÿ˜‰).

As a long-time Potterhead, I'm just so happy that this game finally came out, and that it was actually accessible to me. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical with the game at first. I loved the game trailers, but I took them with a grain of salt because we can't really judge a game based on a few minutes of footage from the trailer, right? Also, there was so much hype about the game, because it is the first of its kind for the franchise. However, I prepared myself to be disappointed. But, oh boy oh boy, I was too quick to judge everything. Where did my faith in humanity go? ๐Ÿ˜… As the title says, I have played a full 24 hours on the game (I think even more as of this writing), and I was very much enjoying every moment of the game. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally invested in this game. Well thankfully, I can say now that the honeymoon phase for me for this game is over, and I can get back to being a more responsible adult. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But before that, I want to reminisce how awesome that journey was. Hold onto your brooms, or hippogriffs (or thestrals!), as this is gonna be a hella kind of ride. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

A Month Before the Launch

Like most peeps, I was looking forward to the game's release. As a Potterhead, this game sure did capture my attention, but I was still undecided if I would purchase the game. I'm not really much of a gamer (I have a handful on my Steam library) and I think Hogwarts Legacy is the most expensive one that I will buy, in case. Well, I don't know what came to me, but at a whim, I checked Steam a few weeks before release date and saw that the game was already available for pre-order. I felt the urge, thought about it (for a few minutes? LOL) and went ahead and bought the Deluxe Edition. ๐Ÿ˜‰After this point, the game became "real" to me, and that was the time that I realized what was about to happen.

The Potterhead in me came alive and I slowly went into fangirl mode. I bought HP-themed highlighters, switched my phone wallpaper to the Hogwarts Legacy promotional poster, and bought a Hufflepuff house poster, thinking I would choose that house for my character in the game (plot twist: I did not get sorted to the badger house). I coincidentally also dug up some of my college stuff and found out that I actually had an HP folder before. I legit forgot about that, and discovering that was just so timely.

My college folder binder + the Hufflepuff tapestry -> signs that I'm up to no good. ๐Ÿคฃ

I couldn't resist not getting these. They're just... highlighters, I know. But these are special and they spark joy in me every time I use them on my planner. ✨

Few Days Before the Early Access

Part of the perks of buying the Deluxe edition is the 72-hour early access, which just meant that we Deluxe players would be able to access the game earlier than the general public release date. This didn't really mean much for me (but I bet this is a huge deal for content creators who want to feature the game). For me, I just didn't want to read spoilers online and yeah I admit it... couldn't wait for 3 more days for the release date. ๐Ÿ˜…

This was also the time that I joined the Hogwarts Legacy subreddit, and that's where I experienced all the buzz and excitement of all the fans all over the world who were highly anticipating the game. Expectedly, I got into their energy flow and just bounced back with the hype, all of us now passionately looking forward to the game.

Lurking on that subreddit, I learned that PC users won't have the pre-download option, so I saw several comments that expressed their frustration on this. I also got a bit disappointed because I knew this would be a huge game, so downloading the game would take some time.  Well, we were in for a surprise. A day before the launch, guess what we found out on the Steam page of the game -- the pre-download button! ✨ Immediately after discovering it on Steam, I went straight to the subreddit and as expected, everyone was in a frenzy about it. ๐Ÿ˜PC users were so happy about it. Of course, I went ahead and triggered the pre-download, which completed after a few hours.

I knew it wouldn't work, but I still tried to press that PLAY button repeatedly. Yep, nothing happened. It's all grayed out and unclickable. ๐Ÿคฃ

Launch Day

And so the day finally came. I wasn't sure what hour the game exactly unlocked for my timezone. I just got up earlier than usual to check if the game was already playable. Well, yes, it finally was. ๐Ÿ˜

Still groggy (and I wasn't even wearing my glasses LOL), I went through the first few minutes of the game. It's so surprising how quickly time passed by. Next thing I knew, my work shift was already starting. Yeah, I made the mistake of not taking a vacation leave on this day. ๐Ÿ˜… What was my point of having early game access? Oh well, so I reluctantly dropped my controller and went on my day to work. I stayed off Reddit for that time because I didn't want to read spoilers or be distracted from my tasks. 

Finally, the end of my work shift came, and I immediately shifted to gamer mode. I continued where I left off, and... ladies and gentlemen, this was the moment I fell in love with the game. ๐Ÿ’–

Seeing this title page sent strong tremors down my body. I was already close to tears of joy. ๐Ÿฅฒ

The Game Play

Let's get into the meat of the matter, shall we? ๐Ÿ–

⚠️ Spoilers alert! You've been warned. ๐Ÿ˜‰

First and foremost, that intro was AMAZING. It was like I was in a movie. There was already a major battle scene, I loved how it played out as the tutorial of the game controls. This was such a creative move from the makers of the game. We are so used to having Harry Potter games that start with receiving your letter (well this game did start on this one) and then going to Diagon Alley to get your wand and other supplies, jumping the Hogwarts train, yada yada yada, we all know the drill, right? But for this one, our main character got to encounter dragons (and see death just a few minutes into the game, that's why we immediately get to see Thestrals), goblins, and huge sentinels of a treasure in Gringotts Bank. The game has such amazing storytelling, I could already tell at this point.

I did not get a "normal" sorting ceremony because I linked my Wizarding World profile and I was automatically sorted to Ravenclaw house. That's when I remembered that Ravenclaw was the latest house I got sorted into. I thought I was in Hufflepuff. Hmm well yes I was under the badger house in my Pottermore account. However that platform was already defunct, and so I just chose to stay under Ravenclaw. One factor that made me stay also is the fact that my Patronus is a black-and-white cat, which I think perfectly suited my current "spirit animal" preferences.

After the sorting scene, things began to feel wacky on the game, because apparently my PC only meets the minimum specs  requirements of the game. I cracked up laughing when the characters began looking like the infamous Hagrid meme.

I found the cutscenes that followed so funny. But hey, at least the game is still playable for me.

It took me some time to get the perfect settings to have the smoothest gameplay possible. There were times that I needed to sacrifice performance versus quality of the images rendered to have the best gaming experience. Whenever I was not in battle and was just leisurely strolling around Hogwarts, I will put Texture Settings to Ultra level and I just appreciate how Hogwarts Legacy is such a visually-striking game, and you will be able to appreciate the game as it is, even if you are a newcomer to the Harry Potter Universe.

Aww yes, the devs are my people. ๐Ÿˆ‍⬛

Exploring Hogwarts Castle

And this is where the fan in me felt so ecstatic -- going through every corner of the Hogwarts castle felt like I'm a kid and it's my first time in Disneyland. My heart leapt with joy whenever I discovered familiar areas that I saw in the movies. Avalanche Software, the team behind the game, did a fantastic job recreating every detail of the castle. ๐Ÿฐ

The Great Hall is so breathtaking. I visited it for the first time during night time, and it felt eerie but still grandiose.

I'm not in Gryffindor so all I could do was hang out around this portrait.๐Ÿ˜œ

And ladies and gents, this is where that legendary punch was thrown.

This was my first time seeing the Quidditch field in the game. As soon as I saw it in view, I ignored all quests and immediately ran towards it. I heard the news, even before diving into the game, that there's no Quidditch, so I felt bittersweet during this time.

Riding the Broom

Yes, you read that right, we have the feature to fly on a broom (and more ✨). It's very useful especially in traveling to far places in the map beyond Hogwarts castle. First time riding the broom around Hogwarts was magical ๐Ÿฅฐ, and the music during that part tugged at my heartstrings. As someone who had this unrealistic dream of learning how to fly, discovering this open-world on a broomstick is already a dream come true. 

Flying into the sunrise is so enchanting.

Room of Requirement

Our beloved room is present in Hogwarts, and this will play a huge part in the game. The RoR will feel like your headquarters, and you will be spending more time here than sleeping in your room (well our character doesn't sleep anyway). Here, you'll brew potions, grow plants, and take care of magical creatures inside vivariums.
This scene is inside the Room of Requirement. Can you believe that? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

If you've reached this part, and have thoroughly read this post through, you already know at this point how much I'm in love with this game. However, there's something else I discovered that made this game just super special in my heart. My "safe place", the scenery that I have envisioned during my meditation moments, came to life in this game. One of the vivariums was very strikingly similar to the environment that I created in my mind, so I really admired this little coincidence in the game. ✨

24 Hours And Beyond

Who was I kidding? My playtime as of this writing is already beyond 24 hours. ๐Ÿ˜… The latest progression I have was acquiring a hippogriff, and my overall progress still less than 50%. This means I still have a lot of stuff to do. This game gave me a lot of emotions -- from feeling giddy and in love with the magical creatures to having sweaty palms as I battled with a huge tarantula. I thought it's physically impossible for me to pull an all-nighter, but this game broke all the rules. The mental energy that I had while playing this game smoothless kept me awake until I realized it was too late for me to get any sleep (well my body got back to me for days ๐Ÿฅน).

I have read a lot of feedback online that the potential for this game is huge, and DLCs that they will release for this game will sell like hotcakes, easily. Hogwarts Legacy is everything I imagined (and more) but what if I can still ask for more, well here's my wishlist:
  • Quidditch, of course!
  • Multiplayer game for wand battles and mini games like Summoner's Court
  • More magical creatures to breed
  • Other places in the wizarding world, like Azkaban, and the Ministry, or maybe an underwater quest wherein the character goes down the lake to meet all the merpeople

I'm giving Hogwarts Legacy it a shining and shimmering five stars review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ It's an amazing game, truly a love letter for all Potterheads out there. ๐Ÿ‘“⚡

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